Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Decade's Worth of Random Thoughts

Two days ago, I opened up the little black moleskine I keep in my purse to make a note, and realized I had only one page left. I bought this moleskine just before I left for my junior year abroad . . . almost exactly ten years ago. And it's one of the things, along with my wallet, keys, and a pen, that I always make sure I have with me before leaving the house.

Reaching the end made me stop to think about everything that has happened in life since I first cracked it open: the year studying in England, my first broken heart, graduating from college, moving to NYC to start my career, family dramas, world dramas, friends made and lost, apartment hunting and moving, books read, re-read, loved, recommended, or abandoned, discoveries of all kinds, friends and family members' weddings & babies. Basically, the period of life in which I grew up. It's neat to compare what's written here with the journals I've kept during the last ten years, too. There's a lot of telling in the journals, but the random snippets from the moleskine are just as revealing and memory-triggering. It's full of notes from talks I've gone to, brainstorming for talks I've given, lines from articles or books I like, funny things friends have said, t-shirt ideas, lines of poetry (most of which never became anything more than that), illustrators I like, authors I want to read, shopping lists, and other random thoughts and observations.

Here are just a few:

words I like: chthonic, tiptoe, lamppost, unfurled

the curl of pianist's back

open by chance or appointment

Umberto Eco: "'who dunnit?' is a theological question"

things i don’t have keys to

Ira Glass: "notice the people who won’t go away"

grocery list: milk, butter, eggs, whipping cream, raspberries, dark chocolate

shopping list: shelves, hammock stand, pillows

Friend: “I don’t like worms, but leeches concern me.”

At final Harry Potter book street party at Scholastic:
Woman 1: "So what’s going on here besides the book releasing?"
Woman 2: "Oh, the book releasing. That explains the capes."

How do you share ebooks? If one sibling finishes book and starts another, how do you pass the finished one to other kid?


  1. I love this post, Martha. You've captured the nostalgic mood of finishing a journal or notebook perfectly. Thanks!

  2. I love this! Would be a great way to document quotes and thoughts of my children and how they view the world. I especially heart: Open by chance or appointment. I can see it gracing an antique dealer's door.

  3. I love the broad range of things you keep track of. And if your grocery lists are frequently like that, I wouldn't be surprised if people "just happen" to show up whenever you cook!

  4. The last three are my favorite. Leeches and capes hilarious, but the ebook question is going to noodle at me for the next few months.

  5. Nice post, Martha. Whoah, thanks for "chthonic". I'll try to use that today. Those moleskin journals are like butterfly nets for my fleeting thoughts and images. They travel well through space and time.